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28 Days Later film question

Posted: Mon, 9th Feb 2004, 6:38am

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anonymous

Hey, I know they used digital to shoot most if not all of 28 Days Later, but what effects did they apply 2 give it the granulated effect? Thanks
Posted: Mon, 9th Feb 2004, 11:38am

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Xcession

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I think that was because it was all done on a tiny budget, and the cameras they used were arse.
Posted: Mon, 9th Feb 2004, 11:46am

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Joshua Davies

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Probably none, DV will always look poor quality and rubbish when stretched that big on a cinema screen.

The blurry poor quality image was probably filtered many times to get something that was even slightly watchable in the cinema and even then it looked pretty rubbish. They may have added more grain with a standard noise or film grain filter in the vain attempt to give the film a "style".

Then again if you're not gonna bother with your script then why bother with your visuals?
Posted: Mon, 9th Feb 2004, 2:57pm

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JohnCarter

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Xcession wrote:

I think that was because it was all done on a tiny budget, and the cameras they used were arse.
I wouldn't called 15 million US dollars a tiny budget...
Posted: Mon, 9th Feb 2004, 3:00pm

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Xcession

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i would. so nur.
Posted: Mon, 9th Feb 2004, 3:07pm

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Simon K Jones

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JohnCarter wrote:

Xcession wrote:

I think that was because it was all done on a tiny budget, and the cameras they used were arse.
I wouldn't called 15 million US dollars a tiny budget...
Depends whether it is used well or not. smile

I haven't seen 28 Days Later on a little TV screen yet, where I've heard that it looks alright, but on a cinema screen it was an incredibly ugly film. The whole frame was covered in strange artifacting that looked like it had been overly blended in an odd manner, resulting in it looking like someone had smeared the lens with vaseline.

Couple that with some decidedly poor effects (the approach to the city in flames was laughable...didn't help that it looked like about 5 smudged pixels of course), astonishingly terrible acting (except for a couple of roles) and a mind-numbingly irritating and stupid script, and I was left with a rather unimpressive film.

However, some people seem to love it. Guess it just goes to show that you can't please everyone!
Posted: Mon, 9th Feb 2004, 3:32pm

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JohnCarter

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Xcession wrote:

i would. so nur.
Well, good for you. But for the story they ended up telling, the whole thing could've been shot in 35 mm with that money... They had no stars to eat up two third of the budget so they could pull it off. Apparently using DV was an artistic choice...
Posted: Mon, 9th Feb 2004, 3:35pm

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Simon K Jones

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JohnCarter wrote:

for the story they ended up telling, the whole thing could've been shot in 35 mm with that money... They had no stars to eat up two third of the budget so they could pull it off. Apparently using DV was an artistic choice...
Indeed, as also suggested by the last 5 minutes being shot on film.

Making the bulk of the movie gritty and harsh was a nice idea. But it would have made far more sense to do that on film and then grade it appropriately, rather than shooting it on DV as they did. Rather than it have a harsh and gritty feel, it instead just ended up being ugly and unpleasant to watch, irrespective of the film itself.
Posted: Mon, 9th Feb 2004, 3:37pm

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Xcession

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I dunno - define 'stars'.

Christopher Eccleston - the army captain (or whatever rank he was) in charge of the troops at the stately home - is reasonably big. Not hollywood big perhaps, but hes quite an important person as far as english tv goes, and i'm not talking about soap-gash either.

Having said that, hes the only one of any note.

I reckon they just blew all the budget on red dye.
Posted: Mon, 9th Feb 2004, 4:27pm

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JohnCarter

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I don't know the pay rates in England but here, even a washed up stars that hasn't done nothing but B-movies for decades will still call at least $500,000 US for ten days work!

A TV star typically charges even more - around the 1-5 million dollars range for a lead role...

Even if Eccleston is a star in British TV, he not one anywhere else. And I doubt he charges millions to appear in a film. Whereas any joblo who shows up on Friends or X-Files will be seen all over the world, which will justify his agent for asking ten times what he's worth regardless of his talent, name recognition or anything actually meaningful in regards to the actor.

I shot a feature film for $600,00 CAD. The producers wanted stars. It ended up costing them around $400,000 CAD for the stars... The star we had the longest were 4 and 2 days respectively on a 24 days shoot... All the others were one day for a grand total of six "stars" - read washed up B-movies actors... And we were shooting on film... the actors who shot the longest and were paid the least were all locals nobodies... Needless to say, the stars didn't help any in selling the film for the producers...

When you are shooting a big Hollywood movie, say $100 million, and cast Arnold - There goes $25 M. Use an A-list director: There goes 5 M. Find him a girl co-star: here flies another 5M. producers; 10M... keep piling it up, you are left with 20 million for the actual shoot, very close to what Boyle had to shoot his movie...
Posted: Mon, 9th Feb 2004, 4:37pm

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Joshua Davies

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My problem is that 28 days is pretty rubbish no matter the level of the budget, and for the amount he had it was just an insulting piece of cinema.
Posted: Mon, 9th Feb 2004, 5:39pm

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anonymous

considering the 3/4 of the film was shot in a "dead" city, i wonder how much money they had to spend on that..you know? the scenes where Jim was alone in the city. but then again that last 1/4 of the movie where they were in that large house mustve not costed them anything. Also they probably didnt pay much for that jet at the end. That lab set at the beginning couldnt have been too expensive either. i dunno, i guess all im saying is that with the right amount of money that movie couldve been alot better. As for every movie! i know i could make a pretty good feature film with a good budget of 100million dollars. biggrin
Posted: Mon, 9th Feb 2004, 6:37pm

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anonymous

I keep hearing all of this talk about the quality looking so terrible. Well, all i know is that the version i saw (U.S) looked great to me. I even watched it again after hearing all of these complaints about the quality, and still didn't see anything nearly as bad as what people are describing. Perhaps it was cleaned up for me? eh.

PS: Both times were on the big screen.
Posted: Mon, 9th Feb 2004, 6:39pm

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elementcinema

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I dunno then, maybe it was intended to have such bad quality. I dont want to say "bad" because it wasnt really THAT bad but it wasnt up to a filmmakers potential. and the budget shouldnt really have anything to do with it.
Posted: Mon, 9th Feb 2004, 7:25pm

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Two Gunned Saint

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"Even if Eccleston is a star in British TV, he not one anywhere else. " Christopher Eccleston was in "Gone in Sixty Seconds" and "The Others" those are pretty big films so he's quite well known and doing some big films.

Also, wasn't Brendan Gleeson in "28 Days Later"? If so, he was in "Braveheart", "Gangs of New York","M:I-2" (the 19th highest grossing film of all time) and "Troy" (which people are calling the biggest film of recent history).

So it's not entirely a cast of unkwowns. But you're right neither would ask that much money. 15M is still pretty tight budget though.
Posted: Mon, 9th Feb 2004, 10:27pm

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Cypher

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it seems that schwar is attacking the entire film (and its shooting choice) just because he didn't like it. of course, i could be wrong and you only watched a poor print so to you the quality was awful. On the big screen, the quality was quite effing good considering it was shot on dv. its not film, and it's a noticeable difference - but i had no trouble watching it. well, a few of the long shots of london should have prolly been film or HD to get some finer detail - but the rest of the film looked perfectly fine. infact, it looked a lot like Narc - which was shot on film, but had a billion filters on it or soemthing.
Posted: Mon, 9th Feb 2004, 10:37pm

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TAP2

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Don't critise the film because it's different biggrin

Yeah - it may look crap, but it shows people like us what can be done with amateur equipment and on a dvd player it looks great.
Posted: Mon, 9th Feb 2004, 10:56pm

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Simon K Jones

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TAP2 wrote:

Don't critise the film because it's different biggrin
I'm not, I'm criticising it because I didn't like it. smile It also didn't seem any different to the usual rubbish horror movie - characters do stupid things, monsters, bla bla. Real let down, considering it set itself up as a semi-realistic take on the zombie genre, which would have been interesting.

Going back to the visuals...I got a headache watching it, which has never happened with any film before or since. The visual quality was so poor that in a lot of the big extra wide shots (of London, Manchester etc) I actually had no idea what I was looking at. Sure, I could tell it was a cityscape of London, but I had no idea whereabouts I was supposed to be looking. I had to hunt around the frame until I finally spotted a smudge that was a slightly different colour to the other smudges.

Was a disappointment, 'cos I had been looking forward to the film. Still, Trainspotting is superb, so hopefully Boyle's next will be up to that standard.
Posted: Mon, 9th Feb 2004, 10:59pm

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Aculag

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I am confused as to what everyone's complaining about on the quality of how it looked in the cinema. I for one thought it looked pretty good for being shot in minidv. I've only seen minidv projected at that height once more and it still looked pretty good. Maybe I need to watch it again or something...
Posted: Mon, 9th Feb 2004, 11:27pm

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Simon K Jones

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If I'd liked the film itself I might have not noticed the visuals so much. But when a film is leaving me so cold and not engaging me in the slightest, I tend to pay more attention to the technical aspects.
Posted: Mon, 9th Feb 2004, 11:56pm

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Joshua Davies

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Me and Tarn saw it on a pretty large screen and a fresh print and it was poor to the point of hurting your eyes as you couldn't focus right. I've seen it on DVD and its easier on the eye, but only because its the same resolution being displayed at 28inches rather than 50feet.

I think using DV was pointless and gimmicky.

I think the script was terrible in just about every way.

I think just about every acting performance in the film was bad appart from Brendan Gleeson.

I just find it surprising and annoying that 28 Days got so much hype and acclaim compared to much better films like Dog Soldiers just because Danny Boyle made it.

28 Days Later ($8 million to make)
Dog Soldiers (about $1 million)

It just seems rubbish in every way to me.
Posted: Mon, 9th Feb 2004, 11:59pm

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Aculag

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Dog Soldiers was pretty good. I was surprised because I thought the title was so dumb.
Posted: Tue, 10th Feb 2004, 12:02am

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Joshua Davies

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I don't want to say all of 28 days was too blurry to watch, some bits seemed fine, just low quality. The problem was the many many shots that just looked so poor.
Posted: Tue, 10th Feb 2004, 12:18am

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averagejoe

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Hmm, I guess I am unable to gauge a decent film when I see it.

I watched "28 Days Later" on DVD. The quality seemed ok. Some of the FX shots were bad but... It is a Zombie movie and I was not expecting much.

The thing I kept thinking through the duration was he really approached this as a satire. Maybe I am wierd. I really kept thinking that through the whole thing. Perhaps this is why I liked it

The acting was not great, or extremely horriable, after all it is a Zombie movie. I was not expecting Oscar nomination or anything. The story may have been a bit weak. I think that gets back to it being a satire. In real life things would not have been exactly like it was in the film. I guess I am just looney maybe.

As far as shooting on DV. It may have been a bad choice but they were willing to take the risk to make the film have an original look.IT appears that in this case the risk may have cost them some quality. Directors that take risks win some and loose some. For instance. "Cold Mountain" was edited on G4 workstations with FCP. Alot of the editor's contemporaries thought it was unwise. Yet, that film appears to work well. He took a risk and it payed off.

I liked "Trainspotting" very much. I do like the Director alot. He will make more films. I do see him making more films. And I hope he continues to take risks. That keeps people uneasy and sooner or later he will have another win.
Posted: Tue, 10th Feb 2004, 12:48am

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Joshua Davies

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Quite a lot of stuff is edited on FCP now, its just they were allowed to tell the story of cold mountain.

If you liked it Joe thats cool, I think my main dislike of the film came from seeing it in the cinema where it looked so bad, and the silly things the people did in the film (like going in to that garage, and going down that tunnel).

From what I read it was meant to be a more realistic look at zombie films hence it being a virus that caused it all. Given this specification for a real look at horror I found it to just be really rubbish and not a new way of looking at it at all - I found this very disappointing.
Posted: Tue, 10th Feb 2004, 2:48am

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JohnCarter

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Cold Mountain isn't an innovation - a lot of features have been cut on FCP, including the latest Cohen brothers film, Soderbergh's latest, quite a few... I have myself edited two features on FCP... There's not much of a risk there - the application works, period.

Other than that, I get your point about taking risks though...

I personally didn't mind the miniDV look in 28 days, except I didn't see it in theaters but on DVD and the only thing that bothered me was pretty much the typical horror cliches. It also bothers me that they spent so much money for so little in the end, but hey! Somebody is going to have a nice retirement package! BTW, it costed them not that much to block the streets of London and they did it very early in the morning with tons of cameras to shoot in one or two takes...

Last edited Tue, 10th Feb 2004, 10:10pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Tue, 10th Feb 2004, 9:21pm

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Mantra

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I saw it at the Cinema and I have to say it looked fine (taking into account MiniDv) to me.
The quality overall was fine. It sounds very strange that some people had no problem with the quality and others have said it was almost unwatchable. I watched it again on DvD and actually thought it came across better at the cinema, so there we go, bizarre!!! smile
Posted: Thu, 12th Feb 2004, 7:24pm

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jjuerss

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So Tarn, Schwar... tell us what you REALLY thought of '28 Days Later'! razz

LOL

Personally, I liked it and I LOVED Dog Soldiers!